May 2, 2006
BEVERLY, MA - Senior Matt Bishop (Woburn, MA/Woburn) took home the Commonwealth Coast Conference Player of the Year hardware for 2006, marking the second straight year an Endicott baseball player earned the honor.
Last spring, EC's Greg Allain, who is now playing professional baseball for the Alexandria Aces of the United Baseball League, collected the award for the Gulls.
Bishop, who was also a CCC First Team All-Conference selection, capped a brilliant career at Endicott. The Woburn native was drafted by the Houston Astros in the 37th round of the Major League Baseball Draft last year guided Endicott to the CCC Championship for the third time in four years.
Bishop is part of a senior class that has won four post-season tournaments - CCC titles in 2003, 2004 and 2006 plus the school's first-ever ECAC Tournament Championship in 2005.
Bishop finished the season with a 1.20 ERA while posting a 6-1 record on the mound. The dominant righty held opponents to a miniscule .160 batting average, fanning 47 batters in 45 innings pitched. Bishop was also a threat at the plate.
The 6-foot 200-pound first baseman was among the conference leaders in almost every offensive category in the CCC. He led the conference in home runs (6), while ranking fifth in doubles, total bases and walks. Bishop was third in slugging percentage (.583), sixth in on-base percentage (.462), seventh in runs scored (35) and his 28 RBI ranked 10th overall.
Junior outfielder Joe Orlando (Gloucester, MA/Gloucester) had an equally impressive year at the dish and was the other EC First-Team All-Conference selection. Orlando and Bishop were the foundation of the Gulls' success and showed amazing consistency on the field, starting 38 of the 40 games for the club, which led the team.
Orlando hits .380, which ranked sixth in the conference and tops on the team, while finishing fifth in the CCC in hits with 52. Orlando also ripped 11 doubles (4th in the CCC) and ranked third in totals bases with 72. During the CCC tourney, Orlando continued to swing a hot bat He was tied for the team lead in hits, total bases and doubles.
Pitcher/DH Erik Fields (Swampscott, MA/Swampscott) and Ian Parkinson (Peabody, MA/Peabody) received Honorable-Mention All-Conference awards, combining to win 10 games for Endicott. Fields was the winning pitcher in the CCC championship game
Fields was 6-2 this spring with a 4.06 ERA. He struck out 30 and limited opposing batters to a .228 average, which ranked sixth in the CCC. His six wins ranked tied for second in the CCC with Bishop and his 51 innings pitched was good enough for eighth in the CCC. Parkinson was tied for the league lead in shutouts with two while finishing ninth in strikeouts (40), averaging just over 8.5 per game. Parkinson went the distance four times this spring and earned a save in his only relief appearance.
Sophomore third baseman Gavin Softic (Athol, MA/Cushing Academy) was the only other player to receive Honorable-Mention All-Conference honors. Softic was hit in the bottom of the 11th inning with the bases loaded to clinch the crown in the CCC Tournament. He was hit a total of 10 times on the season, just one shy of the team lead held by Bishop at 11. Softic, who started 39 games, finished with a .408 on-base percentage while stealing five bases and driving in 22 runs.
The Gulls will appear in the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four seasons. The Regional Tournament begins May 15.